Snug vs Conch Piercing: Everything You Need to Know

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Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate between snug and conch piercings at a glance. They share some similarities, like both of them being cartilage piercings. However, they have many differences that will make one more suitable for you based on the structure of your ear, pain threshold, lifestyle, and more.  

In this ear piercing guide, we take a close look at snug vs conch piercing, providing you with all you need to make an informed decision. 

What’s a conch piercing?

A conch piercing is a piercing in the middle of your ear, close to your ear canal. It is aptly named because the piercing is made on the part that resembles a conch shell. 

There are two types of conch piercing; inner conch piercing and outer conch piercing. The structure of your ear determines the type of conch piercing you can get.

Read more: Helix vs Conch Piercing: Which One Should I Get?

Inner conch piercing - Snug vs Conch Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
Inner Conch Piercing


The inner conch piercing goes right through the middle of your ear. You can style it with a stud of your choice.  

Outer conch piercing
Outer Conch Piercing


The outer conch piercing is toward the outer edge of the cartilage of the ear, called the antihelix. You can wear either studs or hoops. You can also get multiple outer conch piercings.

What is a snug piercing?

Snug piercing


A snug piercing is done horizontally on the inner ridge of the cartilage part of the ear. It can either be placed high or low. You can see the entry and exit points from the front of the ear. 

It is a rare type of ear piercing because it requires a unique type of ear anatomy. It is considered one of the most painful cartilage piercings.  

The typical jewelry for this type of piercing are the straight and curved barbells.

Snug vs conch piercing: Which should you choose?

Snug vs conch piercing


Snug and conch piercings are both great options. Weighing the pros and cons of each piercing type will help you better understand your choices.

Here are the pros of having a snug piercing:

  • Rare piercing that can make you stand out
  • Noticeable and edgy 

Here are the cons of having a snug piercing:

  • Highly anatomy dependent
  • Located on the edge of the ear, a high movement area prone to irritation
  • Typically takes longer to heal
  • Usually more painful
  • Jewelry can easily get snagged on hair

On the other hand, here are the pros of having a conch piercing:

  • Two conch piercing types to choose from based on the structure of your ear
  • The outer conch piercing gives you jewelry options
  • Pain level is typically less than expected
  • Heals faster.
  • Shielded from accidental tugs and snags

Here are the cons of having a conch piercing:

  • Limited options for starter jewelry
  • May prevent you from using earbuds
  • May not be noticeable

How they compare: snug vs conch piercing

Let’s look at how snug and conch piercing compare.

Snug vs conch piercing pain

Snug and conch piercings are cartilage piercings and are typically more painful than lobe piercings. 

The snug piercing is typically described as the most painful cartilage piercing, with an average rating of 8 on the pain scale. This is due to the thick cartilage in the piercing area. 

On the other hand, most people describe conch piercings as their least painful cartilage piercing, rating it a 5 on the pain scale. They say it’s a good choice for a starter piercing. 

Conch vs snug piercing healing time

Conch piercings take about six months to heal completely. It is in a protected area, making it less prone to snags that irritate. 

The snug piercing takes 6 to 8 months to heal. It is prone to irritation from accidental hits because it is located at the ear’s edge. 

Frequently asked questions about snug vs conch piercings

We’ve answered some more questions you may have about conch vs snug piercing.

Is conch the most painful piercing?

No, conch is not the most painful piercing. It is a cartilage ear piercing with an average rating of 5 on the pain scale. This is because of the thickness of the cartilage in the piercing area. It will hurt more than a lobe piercing or a helix piercing done in an area with thin cartilage. 

Piercings like the industrial and snug piercings are more painful. However, people have different pain thresholds.

How painful is the snug piercing?

People describe snug piercing as one of the most painful cartilage piercings, with a rating of 8 on the pain scale. 

Do snug piercings heal well?

No, they do not heal well because of their peculiar location, where there is lots of movement. This irritates, thereby slowing down healing time.

Can you wear earbuds with a snug piercing?

It depends on the type of buds you plan to wear and the position of your snug piercing. If your earbud does not put any pressure on your piercing, you can. However, we recommend that you avoid wearing earbuds until your piercing is fully healed. 

Choose your edgy

Piercings are important decisions because they may require lifestyle changes for several months. In the comparison of snug vs conch piercing, two trendy ear piercings, we’ve realized that both are good options. 

If you want a snug piercing, ensure you have the proper anatomy and a high pain threshold – and are ready to maintain an effective aftercare routine for up to 8 months. However, conch piercing is an equally good choice if you do not fit the criteria.

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